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Giving Better Feedback

October 14, 2014


I dislike the term constructive criticism. Who wants to be criticized? There’s nothing constructive about criticism. I’ve heard people say before that they welcome constructive criticism, but I don’t believe it. Giving and getting feedback is a normal part of learning, but there’s a better way to do it. I recommend giving people opportunities for improvement. The word “opportunity” has a positive intent. The word “criticism” is negative. There’s a sign in my office that states, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” If you change the way you give feedback, the results of the feedback will change. Here’s how giving opportunities for improvement affects you and your listener:

  1. You’ll build trust.

  2. You’ll build rapport.

  3. The person will hear more of what you have to say because they will be open to receiving your message.

  4. You’ll build engagement. Your listener will want to implement suggestions.

  5. You’ll encourage an open dialogue.

  6. Your respondent will ask for more feedback in the future.

  7. You will become a better communicator.

  8. You’ll build positive employee morale (which will also help you retain employees).

Why not change your next evaluation to what your listener has done well and what are the opportunities for improvement. You’ll quickly see your listener implement your suggestions.


Have other thoughts on how changing what you say can affect feedback? I would love to hear your opinion.

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